If you have late payments on your credit report your credit score is likely suffering because of it. The health of your credit is largely dependent upon your payment history.
There are several different approaches you can take to address any existing late payments and get them removed.
But first, find out exactly how they impact your credit so you can begin repairing your credit history. Then you can pick the most effective method for late payment removal.
How do late payments affect your credit score?
Having just one delinquent account on your credit report can be devastating to your credit scores.
Whether it’s a late car payment, credit card payment, or mortgage payment, a recent late payment can cause as much as a 90-110 point drop in your FICO score.
As time goes on, the late payment will hurt your credit score less and less until it drops off. However, potential creditors can still see that history as long as it’s listed on your report.
Late payments appear on your report as either being 30 days late, 60 days late, 90 days late, or 120-plus days late. Each of these degrees of delinquency has a different impact on your credit.
The later you are, the more damage it does to your credit. More recent delinquent accounts also have a greater impact than older ones.
How many days late before it is reported to the credit bureau?
A late payment may be reported to the credit bureaus once it hits 30 days past the due date. Some creditors may not report it at all, especially if you’ve generally been a good client.
Others may wait until you close your account to report them. Once you are 90 days late or more, it affects your credit even more.
At this point, it can be turned into a charge-off if the creditor decides to sell the outstanding balance to a collection agency. However, even if you are already 90-plus days late on a payment, it’s still a good idea to pay to avoid additional harm in the form of a charge-off, collection, or repossession.
No matter how much you owe, delinquent accounts have the same effect. To the credit reporting agencies, a late payment of $50 is just as bad as one of $5,000. Knowing this, if you have to make a choice between which bills to pay first, it may be wise to pay the less expensive ones first.
How long do late payments stay on your credit report?
Late payments remain on your credit report for seven years. However, contrary to popular belief, you do NOT have to wait up to seven years before being able to get a mortgage, car loan or any other type of credit again.
Your credit score will steadily rise as time goes on. Even better is that there are several ways to get the late payment permanently deleted.
Keep reading to find out how you can get a late payment removed from your credit reports.
How to Remove Late Payments
Late payments can be deleted or updated to “never late” on your credit report. It’s actually quite easy if do it correctly, and you can choose from a few different options.
The method you should select depends on your general credit history, your relationship with the creditor, and the amount of time or money you’re willing to put towards these efforts.
Here is an overview of four ways you can successfully remove a late payment from your credit report.
1. Request a Goodwill Adjustment
This is an ideal option if you generally have a good payment history with your creditor and have been a customer for a while.
By requesting a goodwill adjustment, you can ask the creditor to remove the late payment listing as a gesture of goodwill since you’ve otherwise been a great customer.
To do this, simply write a goodwill letter to the credit card issuer or lender and explain your situation.
Did you have an unexpected expense arise last month that made you late? Are you trying to perfect your credit score so you can get a mortgage or an auto loan?
Include your personal story so that the customer service representative reading your letter gets an idea of why this would be helpful.
Many people have success with this method because many creditors don’t want to risk losing your account because of a single disagreement.
2. Offer to Sign Up for Automatic Payments
In some instances, a creditor may agree to delete your late payment if you agree to sign up for automatic payments. This provides a win-win for both of you.
On your end, you get the account updated and the convenience of not having to worry about when to pay your bill each month which means no more late fees. Your creditor gets the benefit of knowing they’ll receive on-time payments each month.
This plan works well if you’ve had trouble making payments in the past, but aren’t significantly delinquent on your account. You’ll have better luck negotiating this deal if you can show that you’re financially able to make your payments.
It also helps if you’ve overcome whatever financial hurdle held you back from making payments in the past. Like requesting a goodwill adjustment, this is also ideal for longer-term customers.
3. Dispute the Late Payment
If neither of the previous options pan out in getting your late payment successfully removed, it’s time to dispute the item directly with credit bureaus. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows you to do this if you find any inaccurate information regarding the late payment on your credit report. Creditors must verify the information they are reporting about you or it must be removed within 30 days.
Check your past statements to make sure that the date, payment amount, and other details are correct.
If anything seems off, send a hard copy dispute letter to each of the major credit bureaus that lists the late payment. That means you’ll need to check the information on all three of your reports: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
You should get a response about your dispute within 30 business days, which is required by law. This is a good option if you’re tight on cash and can’t afford a professional or if you have the time and inclination to research and execute an effective dispute.
4. Work with a Professional
If you’re not confident in your ability to successfully dispute a late payment on your own, there are several popular credit repair companies that can help you.
Credit repair firms have knowledgeable legal professionals on staff to help you out. They also help with other negative listings on your credit report.
It’s easy to call for a free consultation just to get an idea of cost and the services they’ll provide you with. Working with a pro is a great idea if you’re short on time, unsure of your own abilities in disputing, and have some buffer room in your budget for this short-term expense.
What can professionals helps me with?
Check out this story from one of our readers to see how they were helped by professionals.
Getting my credit back on track
Several years ago, I went through some tough times financially. I became unemployed when my company went out of business. I simply wasn’t able to pay my bills on time.
After I told a friend of mine about my issues, he suggested I check out Lexington Law. So, I called them for a free consultation at 800-220-0084. I spoke to a credit professional who told me they believed they could help me.
I decided to sign up and give it a shot. After all, if it didn’t work, I could cancel at any time. After only a few weeks, I started getting letters from credit reporting agencies saying negative accounts were being removed from my reports.
Since then, my credit has been improving steadily and I have been getting much better interest rates on credit cards and loans. It turned out to be a great decision for me (see below).
I just wanted to thank you and tell you that your system is going to be able to put me in a home almost two years earlier than I originally expected to.— C.R., Lexington client
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I also want you to know that I have recommended your services to many of my friends, family, acquaintances and business associates. No matter how careful or diligent you are, you can still end up with blemishes on your credit. I’m glad that you guys are out there to help remove them.
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Ready to Get Started?
Lexington Law successfully disputed and removed over 9 million negative accounts in 2018; over 1.2 million of them were late payments.
They can delete all kinds of negative items from your credit reports, including bankruptcies, foreclosures, repossessions, charge offs, judgments, tax liens, collections, late payments and more.
If you’re sick of having bad credit, let the professionals take care of it for you.
Call 1 (800) 220-0084 for a free consultation and a complimentary credit score. You’ll be glad you did!